You know Williamson County is famous for its rolling green countryside, fascinating historical sites, street festivals and array of shopping options. But these days, you don’t have to drive north to Nashville to spot a celebrity, enjoy the best in live music, find the perfect spot to hang with friends, and wind down with Sunday (or Saturday) brunch. Here are just a few ideas:
Hitting the High Notes
It’s well-nigh impossible to walk into a bar in Williamson County without tripping over, at a minimum, a talented guy with a guitar or, almost as likely, a full-tilt band rocking country, pop or Americana music as good as anything you’ll find in Nashville. In quaint downtown Franklin Puckett’s After Hours, Puckett’s Boat House and Gray’s on Main – offer anything but quaint performances by some of the area’s liveliest bands and singer-songwriters. And the Franklin Theatre has won a national reputation for bringing top-tier musical acts to town.
Down the street, the Bunganut Pig has been a favorite English pub-style emporium for music, drinks and food since 1986, and still packs ‘em in for live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Also in downtown Franklin, Music City Roots performances at the Factory spotlight Americana music, and lots of local musicians jam at Kimbro’s, an intimate neighborhood hangout.
Need a little fresh air? The Franklin Farmers Market reverberates with live, down-home pickin’ Saturdays to go with tomatoes, fresh eggs, flowers and green goodies. Further out in the country, pack a picnic and head to Arrington Vineyards, where you can stretch out on a blanket, settle down at a picnic table, listen to a variety of Music in the Vines on weekends, and sample some award-winning wines.
Happy Days Are Here
Happy hours abound all over the county, from Brentwood (check out Local Taco, por favor) to Franklin and Cool Springs. Meet up with friends and coworkers in Cool Springs at Drakes, known for beer, burgers, sushi and live music on weekends. Jonathan’s, a popular sports bar, celebrates happy hour from 3-7 p.m. most days, and all day Tuesdays until 10 p.m. And don’t miss Losers, Tin Roof and Dan McGuiness, local outposts of popular Nashville gathering spots. Closer to downtown Franklin, locals pour in – so to speak – to Saffire’s romantic bar in the Factory, J.J.’s Wine Bar down Main Street and McCreary’s Irish Pub a bit further down Main.
Start the Morning Right
Or maybe the afternoon? Brunch, once hard to come by in the area, is bursting out all over. Check in to 55 South on Main Street in Franklin for Cajun-inspired dishes, picnic in style at Arrington Vineyards, or head to the Egg and I, a newer cafe on Meridian Drive in Cool Springs. Puffy Muffin, a perennial favorite, has locations in Brentwood and off Carothers Parkway in Cool Springs that offer loads of breakfast choices Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday).
Also in Brentwood, Mere Bulles in Maryland Farms serves a sumptuous Sunday brunch. Mack & Kate’s, a bit further south on Maddox Way off Franklin Road, offers an “urban-country” take on classics such as crab cakes, quiche and omelets, while sister Kate’s Kitchen in Aspen Grove serves great egg dishes, sandwiches, and more Saturdays and Sundays.